The Basics: What’s it like to be a chef?

Having already read Anthony Bourdain’s book Kitchen Confidential a while ago, I decided to get some new reads. I finished the other books save for Cookwise as  Amazon was actually sold out of it with no date in the foreseeable future for shipping. I want to read some accounts on being a chef to understand what that really means. I want to get under the skin of it and see what’s in the blood so I’ve chose the following books:

Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford. This is an autobiographical account of working with renowned chef Mario Batali at his New York City restaurant Babbo.

I also chose two books by Michael Ruhlman, The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute and its sequel, The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection which chronicle Ruhlman’s experience at the Culinary Institute of America as well the preparation for the Certified Master Chef exam at the CIA of chefs Michael Symon of Lola and Thomas Keller of French Laundry.

Hopefully these three books will provide a progressive knowledge base about what it means to be a chef and will add to my steadily growing foundation.

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